Who Is Henry Moore?

A look into Henry Moore's background, inspirations, training, mediums and more.

Henry Moore, born July 30, 1898, is considered to be one of the most prominent British sculptors of the 20th century. (Keep in mind this fact was both before and after his passing.) One look at the Henry Moore Foundation's (Which was established in 1976 and is now maintained by his family members.) collection and displays of his works will have spectators, collectors and admirers of his style convinced of this claim. His favorite subjects were, but not limited to, the human figure and abstract designs carved primarily from wood or stone. Later, in the 1950s, he began experimenting and working with marble and bronze. His collection of preparatory sketches seemed to have always pointed to an abstract way of creating art, according to many critics studying his methods.

Moore's life as a budding young artist began in Castleford, Yorkshire as the seventh of eight children. His mother encouraged his teachings and supported his decision to become an artist. He completed two years (the period between 1919 to 1921) at the Leeds School or Art. Then he completed another four years (the period between 1921 to 1925) at The Royal College of Art in London.

Immediately following his education, he spent seven years (the period between 1925 to 1932) as an educator at the school from which he just graduated: The Royal College of Art in London. Following that teaching position, he acquired another for seven more years (the period between 1932 to 1939) at the Chelsea School or Art.

Following his fourteen-year career as a teacher, which lead almost into the 1940s, he then moved into an abstract period of creation and experimentation, earning him a reputation and many more commissions. Among many other profound abstract artists, Pablo Picasso was one of his greatest influences during this period of time and continuing thereafter. Though he developed this intense vision as an abstract artist and stayed faithful to the pursuit, his focus still remained primarily on the human figure (specifically the reclining human figure, which he became notably famous for). He is quoted as stating in a conversation:

"The human figure is what interests me most deeply, but I have found principles of form and rhythm from the study of natural objects, such as pebbles, rocks, bones, trees and plants." - Henry Moore.

Even after he passed away, August 31, 1986 in Herforshire, Moore's work is still greatly celebrated, collected, exhibited, auctioned and showcased in museums and other prominent public places near and far. Henry Moore's (also known as "The Father of the Hole") work is primarily linked to the Henry Moore Foundation. In fact, during my travels on the Internet while researching this article, I noticed many sites containing disclaimers pointed toward the foundation and notes stating the foundation had asked the webmaster to pull down their content. Now that is a good example of how powerful and artist can be long after their physical abilities to create have ceased.

Supporting Resource:

"Moore, Henry," Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2000

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